According to the CDC, as of April 9th, 8 percent of those of us who got their first Pfizer or Moderna vaccines did not go back for their second shots. That’s more than five million Americans. That’s a really, really bad idea.
Why is this happening? There are a variety of reasons. First and foremost, as more of us get fully vaccinated, the rest are hearing about the side effects. I’m not going to lie. I felt exhausted and my whole body ached after the second shot, and that prospect was scary, but it lasted about a day, and in retrospect it was a lot better than suffering from a horrible COVID-19 death, as 575,000 Americans have done as of the time of this writing. So I have no regrets for those aches I experienced.
Some people seem to think that they’re sufficiently protected with just one shot. Wrong. Do you honestly think that the entire medical world would be going through the hassle of inoculating you twice if they didn’t feel it was necessary? Do you have any idea what a logistics nightmare this whole thing has been for our frontline workers? Why on earth would they want to make it twice as hard if they didn’t need to?
Unfortunately, a certain percentage of non-compliant people actually want to get the second shot, but it’s not available in their area, or they have transportation challenges. That is, indeed, a tragedy. If vaccinators didn’t allow for the fact that people need to have easy access to the second dose, then the first shot was a waste of vaccine and a waste of everyone’s time. And that’s a danger to us all. Please don’t quit trying.
Skipping your second dose means your body’s immune response to COVID will be weaker. It also means you’ll be more susceptible to variants. And we still don’t know how long a first dose’s feeble protections will last for you.
Even if you skipped your second dose, it’s still worth it to go get it now. You’ll be protecting yourself and your loved ones. You’ll also bring us that much closer to herd immunity. Think of it as an act of civic pride and patriotism. Think of it as the difference between life and death for everyone with whom you come in contact.
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